Filipino cuisine is already a kind of fusion cuisine, a colourful, flavourful global cuisine that embodies the collision between Asian and European (particularly Spanish) cultures. LaMesa understands this heritage implicitly, offering Sydney diners the chance to sample this rich and complex culinary history from their restaurant in the heart of Sydney’s bustling Chinatown. Haymarket locals and CBD workers regularly pack out LaMesa’s homely, welcoming restaurant on Goulburn Street, so be sure to book in advance if you’re after an authentic meal made according to traditional recipes drawn from across the Philippines.
Family-owned and operated, LaMesa moved to its current Haymarket location along Goulburn Street in 2012, after spending ten years in Dee Why building up a loyal local following. Now, in the heart of Chinatown and Sydney’s central business district, LaMesa is perfectly positioned to promote Filipino cuisine and culture all the better. Lunch specials draw a big crowd to LaMesa most days of the week and, with sittings for specials only available from noon until 3pm, it’s best to book to secure a spot. Lucky lunchers can then enjoy great value meals consisting of LaMesa’s well-researched indigenous recipes, and the Spanish-Filipino fusions that make the food of the Philippines so unique. The aprtitada chicken, beef calderata, tocino pork, and daing na bangus (marinated and fried milkfish served with a hot chilli vinegar sauce) are all surefire winners and perfect introductions to LaMesa’s broader Filipino offering.
Dinner at LaMesa is served from 5:30pm and the a la carte menu at this Sydney Filipino restaurant is packed with surprises. Try the battered and fried quail eggs as an appetiser, served with sweet chilli sauce, or begin with a round of okoy, deep fried patties of shrimp, sweet potato, carrots, and pumpkin, eaten dipped in a chilli vinegar sauce. The core offering at this standout restaurant in Haymarket (down Goulburn Street in Chinatown, in fact) is divided across chicken, pork, beef and seafood dishes, with a good number of vegetarian options like the traditional pinkabet and ginisang sitaw sa baboy listed separately. So, yes, it is a generally carnivorous affair at LaMesa, with our favourite being the section wryly entitled Not For The Faint Hearted. These are the true Filipino dishes that are unmissable if you’re an adventurous foodie: dinuguan cooks pork neck and pork blood jelly in a vinegary broth, while the sizzling sisig seasons cuts from a pork head with ginger and traditional spices before cooking, and the ginisang ampalaya a popular option in the Philippines (but an acquired taste for novice palates) that sautees bitter melon with minced pork and egg. LaMesa is a great place to get stuck into one of the world’s most interesting culinary domains.
I went to La Mesa for the 15th Anniversary buffet and the food was delicious! I would definitely go back to this restaurant. The employees were also very friendly.
Great service, incredible food. We had our Christmas Party at La Messa. The best pork I’ve ever had. Very fresh and tasty. We definitely will return soon. Morris
Great food that is fresh, and service that is warm. Not pretentious or over the top. Well done on 15 years in Sydney, we will be back.
Felt like inwas in the Philippines. Food was really amazing. Staffs are very accommodating. I really enjoyed my stayed in sydney because of this. Hope we could have one here in Melbourne
Love the atmosphere and friendly staff but there is wide disparity of quality and value between the dishes i.e. some are great value such as the huge serving of noodles with vegetables, chicken & prawns, versus the disappointing small plate of overcooked meat in oil that was the "bistik". Don't order this. It should have come with vegetables at least. My son was still hungry and we gave him some of our dishes. You need to see the dishes before you know what to order. It was pot luck of yours turned out to be good. Many of the dishes were not freshly made either, just premade and reheated i.e. the crepes and my beef stew (mechado) although it was tasty. It would be better to have fewer items on the menu, and concentrate on serving the best ones and making them fresh. They also need to be served hotter, they got cold very quickly. The seafood dishes looked good but they were the most expensive. It is authentic however. I would go back because Filipino food is hard to find. You just have to know which are the best dishes,
I took a Philippines national there to see what she would make of it. We were not disappointed...A little hard to find on the first floor, but great location and good sized place for a meal and conversation. However, they may need to look at the acoustics, as when the place filled up, it became a little difficult to talk. Food was excellent and made to traditional Philippines method. Can't wait to go back there for some of there chicken in coconut milk. Not too pricey but I would be looking for a discount for a big group. Mabuhay!
Food is great. Staff is great. Service is excellent. We've been to this restaurant many times before and we definitely recommend LaMesa to our immediate family and friends. Keep up the good work!
Staff very friendly and helpful with the menu, we appreciated the waiter's advice that 2 portions of their delicious pork was enough for 5 people, we were going to order 1 each. The oxtail soup he recommended was scrumptious. Didn't have to wait long for our dinner and there was no pressure to order more food. All of us would go there again.
This was our 2nd visit to this restaurant since stumbling across it on a visit to Sydney in January. We decided to celebrate Valentine's Day here as my fiancé is Filipino and I came to enjoy Crispy Pata (which is their signature dish) in the Philippines. Although the service was a bit slow and the atmosphere is a bit low key the food was great!
very authentic. good quality filipino food. waiting time on a busy day is not too bad (<20mins). good service. Keep it up folks. There is a paucity of good Filipino restaurants here in Oz. Am from the Gold Coast and I don't think there is at least even one Filipino restaurant here.